Brett Brown has been on the job as the Sixers' head coach for five weeks, and what a busy five weeks they have been.
On the cusp of training camp, the first-time NBA head coach said he had three things he wants to accomplish before camps commences in a week.
“I wanted to get our players in shape,” Brown said. For the past two weeks, players have come together voluntarily for conditioning.
“I wanted to put together a staff we can grow with -- both the players and me," he continued. Reports say Brown is eying John Kuester as his top assistant, which would add to his bench staff that already includes three new hires (see story).
"And I wanted to instate policy,” Brown said.
Brown elaborated on his desired policy, using Michael Carter-Williams as an example.
“Some would say get him a jumper, and he’s good,” Brown explained. “But I think there should be a holistic approach. What will his practice day look like? When is he working on conditioning, looking at film? What are the steps to building him up?”
Brown has assembled a staff that possesses what he calls a “strong pedigree in development.” It's been the strategy that he and team president and general manager Sam Hinkie have employed from the moment they teamed up.
Brown has hired four of five assistant coaches, and his philosophy with them does not differ from that of his players: Identify their roles.
“I won’t have a lead assistant coach,” Brown explained. “One guy will pay attention to offense, another to defense and then Lloyd (Pierce) is like my free safety. There will also be two coaches with development roles.”
“I used this philosophy when coaching in the Olympics in London and it works for me,” Brown added, referring to his 2012 experience coaching the Australian national team.
If Brown’s approach sounds like he is coaching a football team, that's because it's by design.
Brown credited his friend Rick Majerus, a long-time college basketball coach who passed away last December, with sharing with him the idea that basketball coaches could learn a lot from football. The NFL compartmentalizes its coaching, and in doing so a single voice directs what the team wants to do from an X-and-O standpoint at the offensive and defensive ends.
“That’s good for players to hear one voice,” Brown said.
Brown is hoping one voice and one message leads to repetition of doing things one way -- the right way.
That way will soon be unveiled for Sixers fans to see.